Commonwealth Games gear will be donated to community groups

Schools, community sports and voluntary groups could benefit from a ‘legacy’ of equipment left over from competition at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Over 16,000 items used in the 11-day event are up for grabs, including wrestling mats, medicine balls, weight bars and kettlebells.

Ministers said charities and volunteer groups could end up taking home ‘a piece of Commonwealth Games history’ to benefit their communities.

Basketballs are part of the equipment offered (Isaac Parkin / PA)

Games organizers Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are behind the move, with groups able to view and bid for the gear bundles on a venue website.

Among the kit are bicycles, martial arts mats, weights, T20 cricket equipment, basketballs, boxing gloves and weights, as well as cones and bibs.

Groups must apply before September 19.

Tim Hollingsworth, chief executive of Sport England, said that while the Games were “a moment to remember”, it was “a vital sport and the activity in our communities does not stop”.

“It’s a wonderful part of the immediate legacy of the Games that kit and equipment that have been part of iconic moments – like England’s historic first gold medal in women’s hockey – can now go to local groups to support them in their ambition to benefit from playing sport and being active,” he said.

“That has always been a key goal – to create a legacy in the community of new opportunities that were previously not open or readily available to those who most want them.”

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – Day Ten
The England women’s hockey team celebrate after winning their gold medal match against Australia (Joe Giddens/PA)

Nigel Huddleston, Commonwealth Games Minister, said: “It is fantastic to think that the equipment used to set personal bests and Commonwealth Games records will soon be in use in community centers and schools across the West Midlands.

“I encourage all eligible organizations to apply – you could take home a piece of Commonwealth Games history and inspire your community to fall in love with a new sport.”

Other equipment, including the Games boxing ring and judo mats, is distributed to national sports bodies.

Offers are open for bands based in Birmingham, the Black Country, Coventry, Solihull, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

Councils, individuals and commercial groups cannot apply.

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